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Review: Marvel’s: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Hub”: A problem with authority

UPREVIEWS_S.H.I.E.L.D._01Episode Grade: B+

Warning: What you are about to read is classified for level 8 only. Just kidding. But that pretty much sums up Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” latest episode, “The Hub.”

After rescuing an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D agent from Russia, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) cheerfully extracts an implant through the agent’s nose (all Total Recall like) containing some special intel that’s, of course, classified.

So instead of the usual gathering and debriefing around the Holocom on the Bus, the team heads for the Hub, where all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents go to debrief (and where agents go to catch up on the latest science toys, much to the delight of Simmons.) Seriously, Simmons is just the cutest in this episode.

Level 8’s Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May (Ming-Na Wen) meet with Special Agent Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) to talk about the intel they just extracted. The rest of the team is left to their own devices, except Skye, who is still under watch and banned via an electronic bracelet from every S.H.I.E.L.D. system, including their computers.

Agent Hand informs Coulson and May that the implant contained information about a separatist group’s weapon known as “The Overkill Device,” a weapon able to create sonic vibrations that disrupt  other weapons, jets and even nukes at long range. Knowing that the group plans on using this to win their independence from Russia and Georgia, the agents must send in a team to disable the device.

Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) is of course qualified, but he’s only the brawn of the operation. The team still needs the brains—someone who will know how to disarm the weapon. Enter a comical Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) showing off his not-so-qualified skills. The poor guy can’t even get a cart through the sliding glass doors.

While Simmons may be adorable in this episode, Fitz gets to show off his skills in the field.

With the boys off on their mission, Skye and Simmons go off on a mini-mission of their own: hacking into the S.H.I.E.L.D database. Right? Because Skye is totally going to listen to the rules and not hack into nearest computer she can find.

Meanwhile, Coulson is struggling to gather actual information about his “death.” He’s also questioning whether he can “trust the system” like all agents have been conditioned to believe.

There is so much happening in this episode, but it works really well together. There is character development of Coulson as he question his superiors when it comes to the safety of his team. Then there is the action as Fitz and Ward make a pretty good, if not comical team taking out bad guys. And of course the humor.

The funniest scene has to be when Skye convinces Simmons to help her hack into the network. Simmons would not make a very good agent. She panics as Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) questions her about being in a restricted section to which Simmons answers “You certainly have a gorgeous head, don’t you?”

It’s clear that since last week’s episode was all about the development of Simmons, this week’s was all about the development of Fitz not just being a science nerd stuck in the lab. He proves he can handle himself amid all the gunfire as he fights side by side with Ward taking out enemy weapons with a slightly modified Overkill Device.

This episode also carries on the plot of Coulson becoming more self-aware when it comes to his time in Tahiti as he tries making a few calls to get access to his files, only to be told he has no authorization to access the files. “But I’m a level 8.” Sorry, Coulson. Maybe for the season finale.

And Skye. Poor Skye. Thanks to Simmons, Skye is able to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D (she just can’t help herself) and learn that there are some tragic circumstances involving her being left on the doorstep of an orphanage and the possibility of her mother being a S.H.I.E.L.D agent.

As far as grades go, I would give “The Hub” a B+. I thought the humor was great with Fitz and Simmons both being out of their elements. The action could have been better but it wasn’t a really action-heavy episode. Instead we got more good character development and even more questions as to what the hell happened to Coulson, and now Skye.

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